The humble onion is often treated as an afterthought—a flavoring that you throw into a dish just because that’s you think you’re supposed to. That’s a shame, though. With flavor that can range from sweet to spicy and texture that can range from crunchy to melt-in-your-mouth tender, onions are an incredibly valuable tool in any cook’s arsenal.
When it comes to highlighting the onion, few dishes are as classic as the onion ring. Crispy batter perfectly complements the onion, which should be tender enough to separate cut cleanly with each bite.
You know you want to serve those onions with a burger. To make Sid’s onion burger, patties are pressed onto the griddle with paper-thin slices of onion and seared until crisp around the edges. Vegetarian don’t need to feel left out—our ultra-savory portobello patties flavored with garlic and steak sauce are umami-packed and delicious.
Onions are great starring in creamy dishes. Try our roasted onion and chestnut compote, rich with bacon and cognac. Or how about a classic French onion soup, or its cousin the French onion dip?
Cooking down onions until they caramelize creates a wonderfully sweet-savory topping for tarts and pizzas, like our onion and bacon tart and pizza with onions, sweet ham, mozzarella, and rosemary.
Onions pair wonderfully with chicken. Djej besla is a satisfying tagine flavored with saffron, turmeric, lemon, and olives, and a thick, sweet onion jam complements the herbs in our grilled chicken.
Check out 50 of our favorite onion recipes!
Red Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic
A flavorful batter infused with honey, paprika, and lager beer is the secret to these crunchy onion rings.
Get the recipe for Beer-Battered Onion Rings »
These soft and chewy cousins of bagels are a stalwart of Polish bakeries, where their hole-less centers are filled with caramelized onions and poppy seeds.
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Sweet, translucent roasted onions marry beautifully with bechamel and Gorgonzola in this rich casserole.
Get the recipe for Creamed Onion Gratin »
Onions stew until soft and sweet in this satisfying one-pot chicken dish flavored with saffron, turmeric, lemon, and olives.
Get the recipe for Chicken and Onion Tagine (Djej Besla) »
Red onions soak up the flavors of oregano and cumin in this classic pickle relish.
Tender lamb meets sweet, caramelized cipolline onions in this perfumed curry infused with cardamom, fennel, and cumin.
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Our favorite recipe for this classic dip showcases onions three ways: fried, roasted, and fresh.
The custardy batter will puff like an enormous popover in the oven while remaining crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.
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Parsley and Onion Salad
In this recipe trout is poached in a court bouillon, a fragrant broth of white wine, fennel seeds, and lots of onions.
Sweet Vidalia onions, grown in and around the namesake Georgia city, turn even sweeter when roasted with a savory herbed bread crumb topping.
Roasted Vidalia Onions with Herbed Bread Crumbs »
Vermouth adds sweet depth to these bar essentials, the key to a classic Gibson martini.
Heating a pizza stone for an hour before baking gives this savory tart a super crispy crust.
These liver-enriched pork meatballs, named for the old northern British term for uncased sausage, are delicious doused in a buttery onion gravy.
Get the recipe for Welsh-Style Pork Meatballs with Onion Gravy (Faggots with Onion Gravy) »
Ham and Caramelized Onion Pizza
Lebanese seven-spice powder—a mix of allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, fenugreek, ginger, and nutmeg known as baharat—flavors the lamb patties as well as the tomatoes in this richly spiced dish.
Pomegranate molasses, coriander, and curry powder perfume the filling for these tender stuffed onion rolls.
Kroppkakor, hearty mashed potato dumplings stuffed with an allspice-laden filling of bacon and onion, are a specialty of Oland, an island off the southern coast of Sweden.
Get the recipe for Swedish Potato Dumplings »
Squash, peppers, or eggplant can be substituted for the zucchini in this simple, savory summer pie.
Get the recipe for Zucchini, Onion and Ricotta Pie (Torta Salata di Zucchine e Cipolle) »
Copious amounts of lightly caramelized onions are piled atop pasta and served with yogurt and herbs in this recipe inspired by Claudia Roden’s
. The New Book of Middle Eastern Food Get the recipe for Tagliatelle with Yogurt and Fried Onions (Rishta bi Laban wa Bassal) »
This tart uses a salty, smoky ham known as speck; bacon is a good substitute.
In this creamy, refined version of liver and onions, ethereal duck liver mousse pairs with caramelized cipolline onions and mushrooms.
Tart sumac balances sweet caramelized onions in a roast chicken and flatbread dish traditionally baked in a wood-fired oven called a taboon.
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Roasted Onion and Chestnut Compote »
Black pepper is a major ingredient in this dish, so be sure to use fresh-cracked as opposed to pre-cracked pepper.
Get the recipe for Grilled Turkey Breast with Caramelized Onion, Cracked Black Pepper, and Vinegar»
This gorgeous tart has it all—sweetness from the caramelized onions, earthiness from the goat cheese, and a subtle saltiness from the anchovies.
Get the recipe for Onion Tart with Goat Cheese »
Skinless chicken drumsticks are traditionally used in this creamy stewed dish, but cubed boneless thighs also work well.
Sweet potato puree and onion marmalade enhance the natural sweetness of scallops in this dish.
Get the recipe for Brigtsen’s Scallops with Sweet Potato Puree and Onion Marmalade »
A stew made from chana dal (yellow split peas), sambar is a spicy medium for vegetables from miniature eggplants to okra to pearl onions.
This southern French tart takes its name from pissala, a pungent anchovy paste that gives the flatbread its distinctive flavor.
A thick, sweet red onion jam makes for a great accompaniment to this herbaceous grilled chicken.
Whole Roasted Branzino with Fennel and Onions
Onions and fennel provide a flavorful base for whole roasted fish.
Get the recipe for Whole Roasted Branzino with Fennel and Onions »
Gently browned cipollini onions add an unexpected hint of caramel sweetness to this hummus, deepening its earthy flavors.
This boldly flavored bread is a great use for not-too-sweet strawberries, which caramelize and intensify in flavor while cooking. The onion and balsamic vinegar add a welcome tartness.
Get the recipe for Strawberry Focaccia with Maple-Balsamic Onions »
This spaghetti is bathed in a deeply flavored broth fortified with caramelized onions and kombu.
Based on the classic French caramelized-onion tart with olives and anchovies, these little two-bite hors d’oeuvres pack a flavorful punch.
Sweetened with prunes and studded with pearl onions, this country-style rabbit stew is a home-cooked specialty on Crete.
For these addictively tasty burgers, ground beef is pressed onto the griddle with paper-thin slices of onion and seared until crisp around the edges.
Skillet-seared sausage with fried peppers and onions is a simple, filling campfire meal. For extra heft, pile the sausages and vegetables into fire-toasted buns.
Braised onions, bread, and melted cheese are the main components of this timeless dish, which epitomizes the robust cuisine of Parisian brasseries.
Get the recipe for French Onion Soup »
This fragrant sauce is a bright accent to briny oysters, but it’s also delicious with clams, steamed crab legs, and shrimp.
Cream cheese, capers, and red onions make for a lovely spread to pair with smoked salmon.
Grilled red onion aïoli, smashed avocado, and sunny-side-up eggs top these rich cumin-spiced lamb burgers.
Anaheim and pasilla chiles combine in a puréed sauce for these Cal-Mex enchiladas, filled with cotija cheese, onions, and black olives.
Simply putting tomatoes, a peeled halved onion, butter, and salt in a pot and cooking them with barely an occasional stir until they are reduced produces a deliciously concentrated sauce.
A far cry from the standard grilled-mushroom-cap-as-burger, these ultra-savory portobello patties get a further umami boost from garlic and steak sauce‐a perfect match for a flavorful topping of melted blue cheese and tangy caramelized red onions.
Crisp, spicy radishes get a dose of toasty warmth from sesame oil in this quick pickle, brightened with scallions and sesame seeds.
Crisp-tender brussels sprouts and sweet-sour cranberries balance perfectly with a tangy vermouth-based broth in this pasta dish.